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Chinese firm resumes work on Diamer Bhasha dam project | The Express Tribune


A Chinese contractor has resumed construction on a major dam site in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa after being provided with extra security, officials said on Wednesday, following a deadly attack on Chinese engineers.

Power China and the China Gezhouba Group Company had halted work on a pair of dam projects last month after a suicide bomber killed five Chinese nationals and a Pakistani driver, causing their van to plunge into a deep ravine.

Hundreds of Chinese people are employed at the Dasu and Diamer Bhasha dam construction sites, located around 100 kilometres (62 miles) apart in the mountainous region.

Power China resumed work on the Diamer Bhasha dam on Monday after security was “significantly increased”, Nazakat Hussain, a spokesman for the project, told AFP.

Also read: Probe points to ‘Afghan link’ in suicide attack on Chinese engineers

And a security official told AFP on condition of anonymity that the government hoped to convince the China Gezhouba Group Company to reopen the Dasu dam site next week.

There has been an increase in “the number of the security officials and also an expansion of patrolling teams” in the region, he added.

Police have detained more than 12 people, including Afghan nationals, in connection with the bombing.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited Chinese workers earlier this week, vowing to put in place “foolproof” security arrangements and promising “exemplary punishment” of attackers.

Last week’s attack came just days after terrorists attempted to storm offices of the Gwadar deepwater port in Balochistan, considered a cornerstone of Chinese investment in Pakistan.

In 2019, gunmen stormed a luxury hotel overlooking the port, which provides access to the Arabian Sea, killing at least eight people.

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